Living in Guernsey through the eyes of a 16 year old
10th August 2016
Found in: Blog -
Sophie Ellis, intern at Locate Guernsey, gives her insight into what it is like living in Guernsey and going to school in the island:
“A combination of leisure activities, such as relaxing on the world renowned clean beaches and exploring bluebell woods, enjoying quirky local restaurants, cafes and shops, and attending superb schools and sporting clubs has contributed to the formation of firm friendships for me since moving to Guernsey.
Aged 16, I find myself nearing the end of my time permanently on the Island. I am very much hoping to finish sixth form in the next two years or so in order to spread my wings to study at university in the UK. Having moved to Guernsey in late 2009 (aged 10) I am certainly no stranger to the amazing lifestyle one can experience growing up as an Islander.
One of my earliest memories of coming to the Island was the unmistakably warm welcome I received on joining the Guernsey Hockey Club.
Hockey had always been a sport I had wished to pursue as early as aged 5 having watched it on TV with my parents. To my dismay there had never any opportunities close to home where we had lived in the UK.
As soon as I enrolled at the club in Guernsey, I was almost overwhelmed with the high standard of coaching and support I received as well as the many supportive fellow hockey enthusiasts I befriended. Within 3 years I successfully made it into the under 16 Island League.
I’m sure I wouldn’t have experienced this standard of attentive coaching and welcoming atmosphere had I been in the UK.
This is one of many perks of living on the Island – the tight knit communities allows skills to be shared easily and results in positivity all around.
There are plenty of activities available when you grow up on an island. I have always been drawn to the sea and enjoy swimming. Guernsey offers amazing beaches and I have spent hours in the last 7 years lounging on the beach with friends and family as well as taking to the waves.
Guernsey also offers a variety of boating and water sport opportunities, such as sailing, kayaking and motor boating. I have been a proud member of the Guernsey Yacht club and Guernsey Sailing Trust for the last 6 years. Based in St Peter Port Harbour and Havelet Bay, both of these organisations welcome all with an interest in the sea and sailing between Guernsey and neighbouring islands Herm and Sark. I am now a qualified RIB driver and I remain an avid sailor.
I think that I have strongly benefitted from swimming and water based activities offered in Guernsey which one simply cannot experience when living in a city.
The organisations I mentioned teach children to enjoy and appreciate the Island, as well as gain valuable skills regarding how to cope in the face of dangers at sea.
Many Guernsey youngsters begin employment in their teenage years, be it working in one of the small local cafes, or becoming a team member at a larger chain or franchise. I myself have recently begun part time work during weekends at Marks & Spencer.
Guernsey’s size and safety allows young people to experience independence: I find I can happily work around my school and social life, which I value greatly. The proximity of all of these activities allows me to balance a wide variety of things I want to do, safe in the knowledge that I can travel from one place to another without concern. I hope this gives you a good insight into my slightly different perspective of life as a teenager on the unique Island of Guernsey!”